curated by Amy McKenny 19th November - 10th December 2011
Annabel Dover ‘WHISTLEJACKET’ and Alex Pearl 'I was continuing to shrink, to become... what? The infinitesimal? What was I? Still a human being? Or was I the man of the future? If there were other bursts of radiation, other clouds drifting across seas and continents, would other beings follow me into this vast new world? So close - the infinitesimal and the infinite. But suddenly, I knew they were really the two ends of the same concept. The unbelievably small and the unbelievably vast eventually meet - like the closing of a gigantic circle. I looked up, as if somehow I would grasp the heavens. The universe, worlds beyond number, God's silver tapestry spread across the night. And in that moment, I knew the answer to the riddle of the infinite. I had thought in terms of man's own limited dimension. I had presumed upon nature. That existence begins and ends in man's conception, not nature's. And I felt my body dwindling, melting, becoming nothing. My fears melted away. And in their place came acceptance. All this vast majesty of creation, it had to mean something. And then I meant something, too. Yes, smaller than the smallest, I meant something too. To God, there is no zero. I still exist!'
Alex Pearl and Annabel Dover are exhibiting together for the first time, two solo exhibitions completely intertwined. Together but separate - like the personal lives of these two artists, to paraphrase Annabel, they are two people who can be sitting next to each other engaged in their own private dreams, often living their lives from within their heads. Elements of domestic life spill into this exhibition and there is a curious confusion as to where the art and the personal crossover.
Annabel Dover’s practice dances playfully between drawings, film, installation and painting, all of which appear to carry an element of longing and searching ... but for what? In this exhibition Annabel’s work appears to have propagated itself around the three galleries. Her practice is complex, it eludes definition and our attempts to pin it down seem almost futile. Perhaps instead we could try to relax into her childlike affair with objects and the world in general.
Glowing paintings of minerals have been made from a Readers Digest Atlas, a book which Annabel was forbidden the pleasure of gazing at as a child. The Tumbleweed was purchased from Utah in a real act of frivolity, something Annabel excitedly imagined herself chasing down the street as the wind whipped it along. Even the title WHISTLEJACKET is of no more significance than being a word Annabel really liked.
Alex’s practice is steeped in a melancholic humour and what appears to be an unceasing search to fulfil an unknown potential. More recently Alex has turned his hand to blogging, where there is the seductive possibility of the personal being revealed within - and where that begins and ends. One of Alex’s blogs speaks simultaneously of ‘Miss Dover’ manically finishing her mineral paintings and of his reply from an Arts Council application A letter of rejection for his application for 1.8m, a project for an artist culling ‘Operation Puss Cat’ to be renamed ‘Operation Kitty’ on a smaller budget. We wish you luck!